Forex Broker Reviews
Forex or Foreign Exchange is the decentralized global currency market, which is now one of the most liquid industries in the world. Though currency trading an ancient form of business, the online FX industry is comparatively young and it touched 1 trillion USD milestone only 20 years ago in 1995. But since then, FX market has been getting the expeditious expansion and today the size of the FX market is more than 5 Trillion USD per day which is equal to more or less 30 days of trading in New York stock exchange.
About Best Forex Broker Reviews
However, as we already told Forex is a decentralized platform, so trading doesn’t take place under any centralized authority. Rather, you need to register yourself with a forex broker as your trading media. Although you’ll find lots of FX brokers & their reviews online, focusing only on the market of London, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Frankfurt is pretty enough to start and run your FX career.
How to Choose the Best Forex Broker
Since Forex is a virtual industry, you have no easy options to check the physical existence of the brokers. Furthermore, millions of brokers are available in the market and tons of brokers are entering the market every year. In most of the cases, it makes the selection of the brokers tougher for the newbies. That’s why choosing a broker for trading is the primary challenge for a retail trader.
But you shouldn’t be worried about it because if you’ve proper knowledge on the selection criteria of the forex brokers, no one or nothing can stop your success as a Forex trader. And according to our research, we’ll suggest you check the following features in a broker:
Feature 1: Regulations
At the beginning of online FX trading, many scammers used to fake their skills & experiences to deceive thousands of traders. Even in many cases, these scammers didn’t have real broker amenities. They just used to made a good website & wrote a few nice words on the site to convince the retailers. Frequently, the presence of these scammers started increasing online and their wicked acts were exploding beyond expectation.
As a result, the Forex industry was being questioned again and again by the traders & forming regulatory bodies became inevitable.
Finally, to stop this anarchy & make a safe passage for the traders, different regulatory bodies started operating all around the world. These regulatory bodies define a set of rules that can be followed only by a quality forex broker. These rules include the capital of the broker, locations, policies, etc.
Only those brokers can be a member of those regulatory bodies, who meet these criteria. And that’s how the scammers are filtered out from the industry nowadays. So, before choosing your broker you must need to check with which regulatory bodies they are connected to.
The well-known regulatory bodies are:
- US Security & Exchange Commission (USA)
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (USA)
- Financial Services Agency (Japan)
- Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Switzerland)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Australia)
- Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Cyprus)
- Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Germany)
Feature 2: HQ Location
You can find brokers worldwide & everyone will give you the amenity of trading online. But still, look for the location of their headquarters because it means a lot to FX industry.
For example, most of the top-rated regulatory bodies are located in the UK or USA. And that’s why most UK or USA brokers can connect them to those top rate regulations. On the contrary, India or middle east based regulatory bodies are weaker than other regulatory bodies which result in weaker regulations to the broker licensed in India.
Additionally, USA or UK brokers also open their branch in those countries. Therefore, if you check the HQ location first, then maybe you can get those strongly regulated brokers near to your house. Nonetheless, to open a trading account with USA brokers you need to share all your TAX info. So if you have a problem to share those documents, then you can go to the UK or Australia based broker.
Feature 3: Trading Platform & Software
Trading platform & software are the main keys to you & FX market. That’s why you need to check which trading platform or platforms are being offered by the broker. Some broker offers their own trading software where some of them offer third-party platforms. And each and every broker will offer you a demo account with some demo balance so that you can practice on their platform before starting real trading.
In that case, we recommend you to choose a broker who provides Meta Trader 4 platform because, more than 80% good brokers provide this platform for its wide range of technical indicators like one-click trading on the platform, reducing risks by stopping loss orders or trailing stops, detailed charting package, etc. This platform is also known as MT4. So, if you see the term MT-4 anywhere, then don’t get confused. MT4 & Meta Trader 4 are the same platform.
The other well-known platforms are C Traders, Robinhood, Think or Swim, PTMC, Pro Real-Time, Pro Trader, Trading View, Interactive Broker, etc.
Feature 4: Leverage
According to statistics, 95% of the forex traders lose their capital within the first 6-8 months. The main reason for this is the expectation of making a large & quick profit. But the truth is the more you can wait, the more you can earn. And another truth is the less you’ll invest, the chance of losing more money will also be decreased. But if you invest less & wait for a long time, it means you have to wait year after year for making a big profit.
“So, is there any way to earn maximum money with a small amount of investment?”
And here the term ‘Leverage’ comes where you can trade up to 400 times than your investment. Leverage is basically a loan given to the retail trader by the brokers. The common leverage ratios are 50:1, 100:1, 200:1 etc. In 50:1 leverage ratio, you can trade up to 50 times of your investment, in 100:1 leverage you can trade up to 100 times & so on.
To trade $1,00,000 or currency with a 50:1 leverage you need to deposit minimum $1,00,000/50 = $2000. This minimum amount that you need to deposit in cash is called the margin which we’ll discuss later in this article.
But you must remember the fact that brokers will give you the loan, but they will not take any risks. It means if your trade moves to the opposite side, then after a certain percentage reduction of your real investment broker will notify you to deposit more or they can also make a margin call which means terminating the trade.
Usually, this margin call occurs when a trader’s investment reduced to 30%. For instance, suppose your margin investment is $1000 & leverage ratio is 100:1. It means you can trade up to $1,00,000. Now if your trade value reduced to $99,930 the broker can shut down the trade to stop his loss.
Feature 5: Deposit & Withdrawal method
You can deposit & withdraw your money from your debit/credit card, PayPal or any other different payment methods. Additionally, some brokers offer their own branded payment method too. Nevertheless, please check the available deposit & withdrawal method before opening your account.
Because maybe your chosen broker doesn’t offer the payment method which we used for your daily life. Although you can open a wallet under any payment processors especially for FX trading, it’s better using the payment method you already have. It’ll save your expenses & give you better reflex of calculation.
Feature 7: Spreads, Commissions, and Fees
Now, maybe you are thinking about how a broker earns?
Here is your answer. The two way of their earning is spread & commissions or fees. Let us explain them.
Spreads are again of two types:
However, in terms of everything, we’ll recommend you to choose a broker who offers fixed spread because it will help you to make a straight calculation. But, the floating spread is also recommended for the traders who look for smaller spreads.
- Commissions & Fees: This charge is calculated as a percentage of the spread. You need to know the payable commissions or fees carefully before choosing your broker.
Feature 6: Data Security
To open a Forex account, you need to share all your personal & financial information like your name, birthday, credit card number, etc. Anyone with this information can hack your financial accounts and make you completely destitute.
In a similar manner, there are lots of scammer brokers online who took the information of the traders illegally and sell them to the black market. Even sometimes good brokers also fall into security loophole by the scammers and lose their customer data.
Therefore, before signing up to a broker, research their past history & technical specification carefully. And during filling any kinds of web forms, check SSL encryption sign to ensure your data safety on the server.
Feature 8: Account Types
In terms of your capability and initial capital, you can choose one of the following account types for your FX trading.
- Micro Account: If you have low initial investment, then you can go for a micro account. Here a single trading lot is equivalent to 1000 units of instrument traded.
Low Risk: Although it needs a big movement of pips to make greater benefits, the risk is very low. As a beginner, it sometimes gives a good space for a retail trader to trade safely.
Flexibility: As you are investing a minimum amount, you’ll always have freedom of running your business without big tension.
Low Bonus & Reward Points: As you’ve lower investment & so you will receive lower bonuses & rewards from your broker.
- Mini Account: If you have investment more than to open a micro account but less than standard account then probably you are eligible for opening a mini account for trading. Here a single trading lot is considered as 10,000 units. The pros and cons are almost the same as a micro account.
- Standard Account: In these types of accounts, 1 trading lot is equivalent to 1,00,000 units of instruments traded. But to open standard accounts, you need higher capital than mico & mini accounts. But if you want to play a big game in the FX industry or you are a professional, then the standard account should be the first choice of yours.
High Gain: If a 10$ worthy pip moves 50 pips a day to your favor, you have the chance to make a profit of 100$ easily in the standard account
High Risk: The same rule of high gain is applicable in a high-risk zone. It means if a 10$ worthy pip moves 50 pips a day opposite to your favor you’ll lose 100$ easily and instantly.
Feature 9: Margin Requirements
We already discussed a little about margin in our Leverage section. And you already know how you can amplify your trading ability by taking leverages. And the percentage of real currency that you need to deposit is the margin requirement.
Suppose, your broker is offering 50:1 leverages to you. It means your minimum margin requirement is 1/50 = 2%. For instance, in a 50:1 leverage ratio, you need to have a minimum of $1,000 in real cash in your margin account to trade up to $50,000. For larger trade, you need to deposit more to maintain 50:1 leverage.
Since this margin requirement increases your potential profit, so whether you fully use it or not, choose a broker with a lower margin requirement.
Feature 10: Information Resources
A good source of references and materials can be a lighthouse of your FX trading. And if broker itself provides these resources how awesome it will be, isn’t it?
Yah, to help one’s journey to forex trading, most of the good brokers provide these basic resources:
- Learning Material: For beginners, most of the good brokers provides learning books & videos, practice materials, lectures, etc. Additionally, they also arrange webinar, online courses, etc. regularly.
- Demo Account: Theoretical learning is not enough to start your trading. That’s why good brokers also allow traders to open a demo account with demo currency. And using that accounts you can enter the real market, although your buy/sell will not be counted really. But you can see the output of your strategies directly from that account. So, if you are a beginner, then leave the broker doesn’t offer a demo account.
- Latest News & Statistics: Passing the beginner level doesn’t mean you’ve learned everything. Rather it means you are just ready to trade. And to be a successful trader, you need to keep yourself updated till your last breathe. And good brokers will take this responsibility & keep yourself updated by giving latest news & statistics of the FX market by their website or newsletter.
Feature 11: Support
Whether a trader is a beginner or expert, he/she always needs relevant supports from his/her broker. At the beginning stage, sometimes traders don’t even know how to buy or sell. In these cases, a strong support team can always guide you by giving relevant tools, references constantly until you can do trade on your own.
And after gaining some skills on the market, you need to maintain 24/7 keep in touch with your broker. So if they don’t have a strong & live support team, you may miss valuable trades. That’s why check a broker’s quality of support before relying on them.
Feature 12: Broker’s Type
In your journey to FX trading, you need to go through different types of brokers. These brokers are known by some common terms like NDD, STP, ECN, etc. You’ll also hear other terms like ‘market maker.’ But don’t worry about it because to give you a clear perception of these terms we are going to discuss them below:
Usually, the brokers are divided into two major types:
- Dealing Desk Broker: In these types of brokers, market makers process the trading instructions of their clients through a dealing desk located inside the broker. It means when you launch your trade, the broker will collect all the rates & data from the market makers through their inside desk & return to you.
- Non-Dealing Desk Broker: In this case of FX trading, some brokers process trader’s instruction by third parties. This way saves their time and hassles of processing client’s instruction inside the company.
These Non-Dealing Desk or NDD brokers are again divided into two parts:
- Electronic Communication Network (ECN): These brokers use a computer-based trading system where client’s Buy/Sell is processed in the broker’s computer system immediately through the ECN network. ECN network adds all the information to the client’s order from the market makers, execute the order & then return it to the broker as well as to the clients. The whole process is automatic & no dealing desk is necessary.
- Straight Through Processing (STP) Broker: These brokers forward client’s order straight to a third party. These agencies execute client’s order by the forex dealer’s dealing desk & then return it to the broker again.
But we’ll recommend you to choose NDD broker to avoid possible manipulation by scammers.
Feature 13: Forex Bonus and Promotion
To motivate the retail traders & attract potential clients, brokers often announce bonuses. We are going to discuss some of these bonus types those you’ll see quite often from your beginning stage to the ultimate level. The name of these bonuses may be different for different brokers.
- Welcome Bonus: For attracting new traders, some brokers announce this bonus. In this bonus, you’ll get an initial trading credit without depositing any money. Although there is a big probability of manipulation, some brokers proceed to this policy.
- Deposit Bonus: In this case, a trader’s initial deposit becomes double or something like that. It means if you deposit 100$, you’ll make a trade of 200$. And you need not have any leverages, or you need not maintain any margin requirement. You can trade with this whole money without any limitation. But you can’t redeem this bonus money.
- Bonus on Spread: In this case, the broker gives a discount on the spread. For example, for a USD-CAD trade suppose the asking price & bid price is 1.2345 & 1.2340. It means the spread is 0.0004 or 4 pips. Sometimes brokers reduce this asking price to one or more pips from the regular price as a bonus.
- Festival Bonus: During different festivals like Christmas, Black Friday, Thanks, Giving Day or any other national festival brokers usually announce different bonus scheme on trading.
Besides these bonuses, brokers often announce bonuses to retail traders in terms of their loyalty. Additionally, they arrange some promotional contests and the winners get an exclusive bonus for retail trading.
Broker Vs. Market Maker Vs. ECN
After reading these broker types, you might be confused among the terms like brokers, market makers & ECN. Here are there differences between them:
- Brokers host the whole trading process. They forward customer’s instruction to market makers; after the execution, they collect the data & update the profile of the retail traders. For each trade, brokers charge a small commission as their fee.
- Market Makers or Forex Dealers are the experts in making the trading rates. Usually, they execute the trader’s instruction on behalf of brokers. In the case of FX market banks, hedge funds, or some third-party agencies play the role of market makers.
- ECN doesn’t execute any trade. Rather they make a bridge among the market makers where the market makers transmit the valid price for a certain volume to ECN, STP, or other third party liquidity service provider. Then, ECN spread that price to its whole network & retail traders can see the rate.
According to the opinion of many people, forex is a boring and highly risky trading industry. But different research & statistics show that in most cases, failure of choosing the right broker results in all these boredoms & risks. Otherwise, FX trading is the most captivating virtual industry for the business-minded people around the world.
For that reason, we tried our best to enlighten you with these broker selection features above so that your journey to FX trading becomes more fascinating. So, try to check these factors when reading forex broker reviews and ensure a safe & sound forex trading. Godspeed.